The Times Campaign joined by thousands as another cyclist dies – http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/public/cyclesafety/article3308569.ece
A man in his 60s was killed by a coach while cycling through London yesterday. The death came on the day that the 11,000th person signed up to the Times campaign to prevent such horrific incidents by revolutionising British streets for cyclists.
The death becomes the tenth cycling fatality in Britain this year, and took place just after 1pm on a busy junction on Bishopsgate in the City of London. The cyclist, whose next of kin have been informed, was pronounced dead at the scene. He had been involved in a collision with a Terravision airport coach.
One witness described the “appalling” sight of a police cordon around a red bike “broken in two pieces”.
Another witness said that they saw the man being dragged beneath the wheels of the coach at the junction with Wormwood Street, and members of staff at a nearby Boots store laid flowers at the scene as the debris was removed.
The driver of the coach, a 61-year-old man from Essex, was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving; the standard procedure for fatal accidents of this kind.
The news came as The Times received official backing from the All-Party Parliamentary Cycling Group, which pledged to push forward the demands made in our Cities fit for cycling manifesto and will table an Early Day Motion supporting the campaign in the House of Commons on Monday morning.
Ian Austin, joint chairman of the group, said: “I think the campaign is absolutely brilliant. The parliamentary group backs the campaign and is keen to meet people from The Times to discuss how we can get the issues on the manifesto in front of the right people.”
Lord Sugar, the rower James Cracknell and the singer Florence Welch, all keen cyclists, have joined the pantheon of famous backers, many of whom appear in the Bike Britain supplement in The Times newspaper today. Welch said: “Me and my whole family cycle and my father was knocked off his bike last year. It was so traumatic for all of us, so understandably I am a huge supporter of the campaign for safer cycling.”
They added their names alongside the Olympic champion cyclists Sir Chris Hoy, Bradley Wiggins, Rebecca Romero, Victoria Pendleton and Chris Boardman, the world champion cyclist Mark Cavendish, the TV presenters Gabby Logan and Jon Snow, the actress Olivia Williams, and all major candidates for the London mayoral elections.
The Times also received backing yesterday from the London Ambulance Service, which sent cars and an ambulance to the scene of yesterday’s accident.
Zamech Syed, 41, who works across the road from the scene of the fatality, said: “I saw a body on the road but couldn’t tell if it was a man or a woman. This junction is terrible. One day the traffic is going one way, the next it’s another way, all because of the roadworks. I’m not surprised that a fatality has happened. It’s very sad.”
The stretch of road, which was cordoned off for more than three hours yesterday, has been the subject of campaigns by politicians and road safety groups who have called on authorities to consider imposing a 20mph zone to protect cyclists and pedestrians, a point also made in the Times manifesto.
Leon Daniels, managing director of surface transport at Transport for London, said that it took cycle safety “extremely seriously” and added: “We deeply regret this very sad loss. Our thoughts go out to the friends and family of the cyclist.”
The #cyclesafe hashtag has been trending nationally on Twitter this week, with more than 10,000 mentions of the Times campaign.
More than 600 people have used the freely accessible campaign page to write to their local MP asking them to address and raise the issue of cycle provision in their constituency, but we need more if we are to make the issue impossible to ignore.